The Gift a Doll Project is Taking Off!

At the TCV kindergarten

At the TCV kindergarten

Last month we set up a form on our ‘gift a doll’ project page to facilitate the process of funding dolls to be given to Tibetan children in India. Since then we have received several contributions and would like thank everyone that has been involved! As we delivered the dolls, there was heartfelt appreciation and gratitude from parents and teachers and lots of happiness for the children who received them. The smiles on their faces really said it all and convinced us about the value of this project.

To date we received orders of 27 friendship and 2 traditional dolls plus 300 Euros to come from the Austrian Steiner school fundraising event! What an amazing achievement! Thank you all for your generosity and support. It’s been a dream of mine since the beginning of our doll making and with your help it is becoming a reality.

At the end of our Christmas order rush, we were able to deliver the first batch of dolls: 18 small dolls and 1 traditional doll found happy new homes. Please look below where they went and enjoy some of the pictures we were able to take.

Anna M.-S. gifted our first two dolls

Karma and his doll

Karma and his doll

One small Kampa boy doll went to little Karma at the Lingkor. His mother died when he was just a baby and now gets looked after by friends of the family. We didn’t meet Karma himself as he was at the nursery when we delivered the doll, but his adoptive mother, who works at the Tibetan old peoples’ home, received Norbu with great surprise and appreciation.

One small Utsang boy doll went to two year old Tenzin Tsonyi whose parents are newcomers from the Tingri area of Tibet. His mother is expecting another baby and therefore is not able to work. His father helps cleaning the temple area. We met his mother and Tsonyi through one of our doll makers. His mother was absolutely delighted and Ngodup – a bit shy taking our Norbu, will hopefully come to appreciate in time his new playmate.

Barbara C. gifted 11 Small Dolls

At Rogpa Baby Care

At Rogpa Baby Care

What a beautiful Christmas present to all of us that was! A mix of seven Tibetan friendship dolls went to a kindergarten classroom with 40 children between 3 and 5 years old at upper TCV in Dharamsala. Teachers and children were incredibly grateful and happy and sending you a million thanks.

Most of these children are staying at TCV boarding and are orphaned or semi orphaned, with parents in Tibet, Nepal or far away Tibetan settlement in India. They see their parents once a year at most. There was also a little Indian girl in the classroom. Upper TCV has 105 boarding children between 3-5 years old, so for sure we will be back with more of our dolls…

Kampa boy in Dharamsala

Kampa boy in Dharamsala

Another 3 of these dolls were given to the Rogpa baby care room in Mc Leod Ganj – a great initiative and houses up to 40 Tibetan toddlers below three years old. Again, all dolls were received with curious happy smiles and the staff at Rogpa extended their sincere thanks.

And one Tashi Tibetan friendship doll went to a four year old Kampa boy who lives with his parents not far from the Tibetan Library area.

Leonore K. gifted One Small Doll

Another little Norbu doll is on its way to Nepal, this time to 2 year old boy, Tashi. His family also comes from the Tingri area in Tibet. Again, we got the contact from one of our dollmakers who is delivering Norbu herself during our annual holidays.

Hillary L. gifted Eight Small Dolls

Giving at Norbulingka

Giving at Norbulingka

Four of these friendship dolls went to the Norbulingka Institute’s kindergarten in nearby Sidhpuri. Norbulingka is an amazing Tibetan cultural institute, where Tibetan arts and crafts are taught and preserved. About 450 Tibetans find training and employment there and their kindergarden was established to look after their young ones. It’s quite a nice kindergarten where the children are looked after with love and care.

Girl with a small Tibetan doll

Girl with a small Tibetan doll

Our dolls went into the playroom for the 22 three and four year old children and were, again, received with great enthusiasm. A big thank you to you Hillary from the children and teachers!

The other four friendship dolls will go to go to Chowkur, a small Tibetan settlement near Bylakuppe in South India. Most families in the area are farmers and TCV has set up a kindergarten for children between the age of three to six.

It is in theses remote communities that our Tibetan dolls will make the most difference as it is so easy for the children to get absorbed in the wider Indian community and more challenging to uphold a distinct Tibetan identify.

Andrina K. gifted One Traditional Tibetan Doll

Two happy girls!

Two happy girls

Our first gifted large Tibetan doll went to Acha Dolma’s two girls, which are five and eight years old. Acha Dolma has been making the small Tibetan friendship dolls with us for almost two years but had to stop due to her asthma, which got worse working with the sheep wool.

We all were sad to see her go but had a cheerful time visiting her lovely family with Dolkar – our traditional Kampa girl doll (the same area in Tibet were she and her family comes from). Acha Dolma and her twoi girls were absolutely delighted!

Melanie P. gifted One Traditional Tibetan Doll and Barbara L. Five Small Tibetan Dolls

We are hoping to send these dolls all the way up to Lhadak, where there are substantial Tibetan nomad communities. TCV has set up a boarding preschool for the nomads’ children near their homes. I’m sure our dolls will be very well received and hopefully give some support and joy along the hard road of separation.

Fundraising From Austria

A 7th grade Waldorf school class in Salzburg, Austria had a fundraising stall at their annual Advent bazaar and raised 300 Euro for our gift a doll project! What a beautiful and generous idea that was! Thank you all for your enthusiasm and commitment to make the fundraising so successful. We will receive the money by hand of a friend of the class after our holidays and we are happy that he can come along and be part of distributing this next group of dolls which will go to another TCV branch at Suja, near Bir.

We’ve already established contact and the school is eagerly awaiting this group of dolls which will be a mixture of traditional and friendship dolls. We’ll share the photos with you, so please look forward to it.

We can’t thank you all enough for your great generosity. Please keep in touch and help spread the word so that more dolls can find their ways into the hands of Tibetan refugee children.